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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 173565, 7 pages
Research Article

Mechanistic Study on the Antidepressant-Like Effect of Danggui-Shaoyao-San, a Chinese Herbal Formula

1College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University, Hangzhou 310053, China
2School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 24 April 2012; Revised 27 June 2012; Accepted 4 July 2012

Academic Editor: Karl Wah-Keung Tsim

Copyright © 2012 Zhen Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Danggui-Shaoyao-San (DSS), a famous Chinese herbal formula, has been widely used in the treatment of various diseases. Previous studies have shown that DSS produces antidepressant-like effect in rodents. This study aims to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying the antidepressant-like action of DDS. The results showed that DSS treatment significantly antagonized reserpine-induced ptosis in mice. In addition, DSS treatment significantly increased sucrose consumption in chronic unpredictable stress- (CUS-) treated mice. DSS treatment also markedly attenuated CUS-induced decreases in noradrenaline and dopamine concentrations in mouse brain. Furthermore, DSS treatment significantly reversed CUS-induced increase in serum malondialdehyde (MDA) content and decrease in serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in mice. The results suggest that the antidepressant-like activity of DSS is probably mediated by the modulation of central monoamine neurotransmitter systems and the reduction of oxidative stress.